What is the wise way to spend your time?
This was a question that came up recently when I was looking at the lectionary readings for Sunday worship, and it made me realise that probably a good use of time is to acquire wisdom!
The apostle Paul advised the Ephesians, “Be careful then how you live, not as unwise people but as wise, making the most of the time…”
Wisdom, though, isn’t just about being clever or gaining knowledge, it’s often about having a bit of common sense – for instance, we have the knowledge to understand that a tomato is a fruit and not a vegetable…but common sense tells us that it’s better to serve them with a salad than to cover them in custard!
The antithesis of wisdom is foolishness, and Paul goes on to say, “So do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is”….well, that would be great if God would only tell us clearly what that is!
I came across one of those ‘round-robin’ emails the other day, which might help. It is called ‘A Memo from God’…and it says:
I am God.
Today I will be handling all your problems.
Please remember that I don’t need your help.
If life brings you a situation that you can’t handle, don’t try to resolve it. Just put it in the SFGTD (something for God to do) box. It will be addressed in my time, not yours. Once the matter’s placed in the box, don’t hold onto it.
If you find yourself stuck in traffic, don’t despair. There are people in this world for whom driving is an unheard of privilege.
If you have a bad day at work, think of the man who’s been out of work for years.
If you despair over a relationship gone bad, think of the person who’s never known what it’s like to love and be loved in return.
If you grieve the passing of another weekend, think of the woman in dire straits, working twelve hours a day, seven days a week to feed her children.
If your car breaks down, leaving you miles away from help, think of the paraplegic who’d love the opportunity to take that walk.
If you notice a new grey hair in the mirror, think of the cancer patient undergoing chemotherapy, who wishes she had any hair at all.
If you find yourself the victim of other people’s bitterness, ignorance, smallness or insecurities, remember, things could be worse. You could be them!
It’s a bit twee I’ll grant you, but I think its wise advice – and maybe it is what God would write if we asked to be taught wisdom.
Paul tells us to ‘make the most of our time’ by becoming wise, by understanding what God’s will is for us.
God has given each one of us a span of time, so you could say that we’re all living on borrowed time. Shouldn’t we then be grateful for the time we have – however long or short that might be?
Yet, so easily we become slaves of time – we waste time, we kill time, we save time – but how often do we use our time thankfully to serve God, to listen to God, to understand his will for us?
We need to make the most of our time, to set free our days and hours from the busy demands we make of them, and enjoy the time that God gives us – maybe then we will be living wisely.
Yours in Christ,